Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all. ― Charles Bukowski
A while back, another writer in a Facebook group mentioned that she was feeling guilty for not writing as much as she felt she should. I know that feeling well. The worst part of that feeling is that it does not make you want to write. In fact, the opposite. The more you feel that you should write, the less you want to do it.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Writer’s block is just resistance, and it is almost always about fear. And fear is almost always about not knowing what to do next or feeling as if you can’t possibly do enough.
The trick to overcoming this resistance requires three steps:
1. Rewrite the story you tell yourself.
Words have power. We all believe that; it’s why we’re writers. So instead of, “I haven’t been writing enough” or “I don’t feel like writing”, tell yourself, “I like to write, and I always feel good when I’ve done it”.
2. Take your expectations down.
Instead of “writing your book”, just write 200 words. Do you know how many words 200 is? It’s shorter than the length of this newsletter. It’s short, but it’s long enough to capture something worth capturing.
3. Congratulate yourself and remind yourself to do it again tomorrow.
Two hundred words every day will add up to 73,000 in a year—that could be an entire novel, two novels for young readers, a full memoir, three movie scripts, four novellas, fourteen short stories, seventy-three picture books, or a huge batch of poems or articles.
Just Do It
This was the advice I gave that writer: I told her to write 200 words and report back to this Facebook page. And she did—right away. Some days, those 200 words will just be a starting place. Some days, it will be all you can muster, but that is still great. Because we’re writers. Writers are only happy when we write regularly. So do it.